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General Micro Systems (GMS) Redefines Handheld, Removable Mass Storage with New X9 Spider Storage Module for U.S. Military Applications

128TB of portable, high-reliability solid state storage fits in the palm of the hand, perfect for battlefield artificial intelligence AI datasets or mobile sensor data recorders

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AUSA2023General Micro Systems (GMS), the world’s leading technology-independent supplier of computing engines in boxes, boards, and servers, today announced the launch of its rugged, military-focused X9 Spider Storage system intended for sensor data recorders, artificial intelligence AI datasets, “network” attached storage, and data payload “sneaker net” portable data movement. As a critical component within GMS’ X9 Spider Thunderbolt™ 4 technology-based open distributed computing architecture (DCA), this X9 Storage includes a 4- or 8-drive removable cartridge supporting secure, industry-standard 2.5-inch or M.2 solid state storage. The small form factor (SFF) system offers a massive 128TB (max) of removable storage capacity, CSfC or FIPS-140-2 secure encrypted SSDs, and up to 80Gbits/s of data I/O streaming.

“Next-generation AI, sensor fusion, and autonomous vehicle applications demand data capacities that far surpass traditional portable mass storage solutions,” said Ben Sharfi, CEO and chief architect, GMS. “The X9 Spider Storage module combines massive storage with over 5,000 mating cycles and ultra-fast Thunderbolt™ 4 In/Out ports inside fully sealed, ruggedized, and removable canister cartridges – the perfect choice to support harsh, demanding in-field data operations.” The drives can be configured in RAID array(s) for fault tolerance or data recorder striping, and have advanced sanitization options for modern cybersecurity requirements.

Built to deliver an unparalleled portable storage solution, X9 Spider Storage uses proven high-cycle, high-reliability connectors for the canister and a miniature SFF system size to enable any vehicle, system or personnel to easily move massive amounts of data between locations. As today’s military computing systems are essentially data collection and processing platforms – such as mission data transfer units, autonomous ground vehicles, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), and generative AI processors – storage solutions must meet significant data storage requirements while meeting size, weight and power (SWaP) constraints. As well, the data “pipes” delivering data to/from the drives must be fast enough to keep up with modern SSD read/write speeds.

Based on the GMS open Distributed Computer Architecture (DCA) of the entire X9 family of SFF modules, X9 Spider Storage highlights include:

  • Highest SWaP high-performance rugged storage
  • Only 6”x4.75”x2” at 2lbs.
  • Provides up to 100W downstream power
  • Ultra-high reliability removable canister cartridge with 5K mating cycles
  • Supports quad NVMe™ (x4 PCIe) or SATA drives
  • Alternatively, supports eight M.2 SSD drives
  • Configurability as RAID 0/1 under host control; optional SATA controller
  • Dual Thunderbolt 4 In/Out ports with 100W power delivery
  • Fully sealed, rugged storage canister and locking lever with Tamper Proof Security
  • Patent-pending QuadroLock™ active wedge lock technology, enabling multiple modules to be combined for thermal sharing while withstanding severe shock, vibration and harshness envelopes

Constructing Unique Data Storage Architectures

What makes X9 Storage unique and compelling is the amount of data carried in a single portable canister (up to 128TB), as well as the dual Thunderbolt™ 4 ports. An industry-standard interface jointly designed by Apple Computer and Intel, Thunderbolt 4 technology is a 40Gbits/s data “pipe” that carries multiple video streams, PCI Express data, 10Gbits/s networking, USB, and up to 100W of power. In X9 Storage, one Thunderbolt input port can be used for data read/write, while the second port can be used for daisy-chaining additional downstream X9 products—including one or more additional X9 Storage systems.

This creates unique architectures that expand a systems storage “array” into many removable canisters, or provides for fault tolerance and redundancy, or enables larger RAID arrays. The possibilities are limitless, all based on the X9 distributed computing architecture. Moreover, any COTS Thunderbolt device can be added to the system in a guaranteed plug-and-play fashion and each is immediately recognized by a system host CPU.

Cybersecurity features in X9 Storage protect data in several ways, easily integrating X9 Storage into a broader system architecture. FIPS-140-2 and CSfC drives support NSA-level encryption, plus host-level TPM and key handling provide security root-of-trust authentication. Anti-tamper sensors can interface with GMS SecureDNA™ at the drive, system, and CPU level for whole-system sanitization. Other custom features are available.

The X9 Spider Distributed System Advantage

The X9 Spider modular, scalable and distributed architecture reduces the development barriers to rugged high-performance computing, high-definition video, sensor processing, AI, battlefield edge processing, storage, display, and I/O. Housed within small, rugged enclosures with uncompromised performance per dollar per Watt, all X9 SPIDER products are modular, expandable, and scalable. The X9 Spider family supports Thunderbolt 4 technology and our patented LightBolt™ 40 Gbps connections in copper or fiber, with optional 100W per-port power for up-/down-stream sensors and system expansion.

“If you can’t fit a rackmount server with drives, the X9 Storage system is the battlefield choice. Secure CSfC or FIPS drives, flexible SSD options with RAID, high-speed box-level interconnects and exceptional fault tolerance make X9 Storage the only choice for on-the-battlefield, deployed high-density embedded storage,” Sharfi said. “These modules greatly enhance the capacity and reliability of data movement across the battlefield, giving system designers what they need to meet both performance and environmental requirements.”

About General Micro Systems:

General Micro Systems (GMS) is the rugged server company. The company is known as the industry expert in highest-density, modular, compute-intensive, and rugged small form-factor embedded computing systems, servers, and switches. These powerful systems are ideal for demanding C5ISR defense, aerospace, medical, industrial, and energy exploration applications. GMS is an IEC, ISO, AS9100, NIST-800-171, and MIL-SPEC supplier with infrastructure and operations for long-life, spec-controlled, and configuration-managed programs.

Designed from the ground up to provide the highest performance and functionality in the harshest environments on the planet, the company’s highly customizable products include GMS Rugged DNA™ with patented RuggedCool™ and Diamond RuggedCool2™ cooling technology. GMS uses processors from Intel® and NVIDIA®. For more information, visit

General Micro Systems and the General Micro Systems logo are trademarks of General Micro Systems, Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners.

©2023 General Micro Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Chris A. Ciufo


Kelly Wanlass

HCI Marketing and Communications, Inc.



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